Back in May my bank sent out a payment by mistake through my online bill pay to an account that I no longer had. I had stopped the payments to AT&T because I no longer had an account with them. I hadn’t had an account with them for almost a year at this time. When I checked my account on Tuesday, all of the payments that were scheduled to go out were listed as pending. AT&T was not listed as one of the payments scheduled. On Thursday I received a notification that my account was overdrawn and went online to check my account.
When I checked my account, I was overdrawn for $150 due to a payment sent out for AT&T. I never authorized this payment and chalked it up to a glitch with the bill pay. There have been glitches with bill pay. I put money in the account at went to my bank and told them about the issue. They refunded me the overdraft fee and advised me to call AT&T. I called them as soon as I got home and they had no record of the payment. But since it had just gone out that day, it was possible that they just hadn’t received it yet. They advised me to call back in a few days.
When I called back a few days later, they said that they had no record of the payment. At this point, I decided to call my bank and see if maybe the payment was returned to them. It wasn’t but they said that they would look into it further and get back to me. No problem. They did contact me and set up a three way conversation with AT&T so AT&T could verify my information. The representative from AT&T got the information they requested and the representative from my bank asked if there was any other information that AT&T needed her to fax to them. The representative from AT&T said that they had all the information she needed and told us that I would receive the check within two weeks in the mail. The representative from my bank told me that if I didn’t receive the check in two weeks, call them back. We all hung up and I waited.
After about three weeks, I contacted my bank because I had not received the check from AT&T. At this point my bank decided they could no longer help me. I was getting the run around from them. I even went to the BBB. They were no help. I decided to call AT&T to see if I could get info. This is now mid-August. The girl I spoke to on the phone was stalling and trying to make small talk and even tried to sell me a package deal. I told her I just wanted my money. She then puts me on hold and comes back to tell me they can’t do anything for me because they need more information. By this time it’s been almost four months and I still haven’t gotten my check back. No one would tell me why.
I went to the BBB this time filing a complaint against AT&T. I explained everything that happened up to that point. Within about a week I got a phone call from a Jon ** from the president’s office. I was at work and could not answer immediately. I called them and he was not in his office and I left a voicemail. He emailed me and I responded to the email then called him back the next day.
When I spoke to Jon ** the next day, he told me that the refund check had already been issued and cashed. I told him that I had never received a check and then he said that someone cashed it and they would have to do a criminal investigation. Basically accusing me of lying. I asked who and where they sent the check to because I certainly didn’t get it. He then asked if someone in my household has an AT&T account. I asked what that had to do with whether or not I received the check. He said that maybe someone else cashed it.
I told him that no one in my household would cash a check if it had my name on it. He said again that they would have to do a criminal investigation on who cashed the check. I told him I would look into it and that what he was saying made no sense. I called my father at work to ask him if he had receives a check for $150 back in June. He told me that he would check. He checked when he got home and let me know that he did. It was made out to him and he had a copy of the check.
I called Jon ** back and he finally admitted that they had decided to post the check to someone else’s account and then when I asked for the money back four months ago, it was issued to the person whose account they decided to post it to. I told him that this wasn’t right because they got a payment in error and randomly decided to post it to another person’s account then give them the money. I also wanted to know why I hadn’t been told this from the beginning. I’ve been getting the run around for four months.
He said “oh well. If you think we are going to take money out of our pockets to give it to you, you are mistaken.” I told Jon that this was not legal. He basically gave away my money and that was it. Even though I had been asking for this check for four months. He told me that people make payments for other people all the time. I responded that when they do, they give authorization. He said “oh well. Go get a lawyer.” I consulted a lawyer and as expected they wouldn’t do anything because the amount was considered insignificant, and a lawyer wouldn’t bother. Even on the fact that what AT&T was doing wasn’t right.
Now I did get the money from my dad with absolutely no hesitation, but that isn’t the point. I was lucky it was my dad. But for months I was chasing this money trying to get it back and the whole time they knew what happened. How many other people have they done this to? And most of them have no hopes of ever seeing that money again. If I had a roommate that I didn’t interact with or a family member that I didn’t get along with, I would be out that money. This cannot be legal. I intend to let as many people know about this as I can. I am writing this in hopes that AT&T will be brought to task on this. They should not be allowed to get away with this. Something needs to be done.